I read somewhere a long time ago that someone in some foreign, unstable place would fix elections by chopping off the index fingers of unlucky voters. Why do this, you may ask? Well, it seems they marked off those who had voted by dipping the forefinger in ink. If you had no forefinger, you could not prove you didn’t already vote, so you couldn’t vote again.
I’m really hopeful this is a made-up story, but it does illustrate the complete ease with which we are allowed to cast our vote and speak our mind in this country. If we can escape all the political hype without being traumatized, we can step into a small, quickly erected, metal framed space with a red, white and blue curtain just covering our behinds and fill in the ovals for the people of our choice.
As I write this, I have indeed made my choices and cast my vote, but I don’t know who has won and you know what? I find it doesn’t matter nearly as much who won as it matters that I was allowed the chance to peacefully join my voice to millions of others.
Of course, there are any number of other reasons to be thankful for election day. One is that I can quit listening to non-stop political ads, and looking at political memes on Facebook filled with so much childish invective that I was hard-pressed to hold the line of silence and I just barely refrained from writing on posts telling me why my choices were stupid, “Oh yeah? Well, your candidate eats their own boogers, so there!”
In addition to that, I survived the polling place. Now, I have to tell you that election polling places scare me. I want a nice, quiet place to do my voting and try and puzzle out what all of those amendments are about. Instead, I have to produce identification to prove I am whom they have already written me down as, then I receive a stamped ballot and I am directed to that line of feebly erected booths.
With the curtain unable to cover my lower body, I must attempt to stand still and not wiggle as I wrestle with Amendments, Law Changes and Initiated Measures. After a few minutes of trying to figure them out, I frequently mark “No” just to get done. I can’t find the one that the politicians are bringing in just to steal my money or the one that was funded by “dark money” (whatever that is) from some super-secret spy place in the heart of the North Pole.
As for presidential candidates, I so wished they would have had a line marked “Other”! I worked hard to fill in the proper little ovals, but I either didn’t fill it in enough, or I accidentally colored outside the lines. And the reason for this is because the people in the other little metal booths kept moving and shaking the narrow little table!
I did discover, however, that if you grab the whole metal structure and pick it up and holler, “Stop shaking the table!” they will ask you to leave. Apparently this “upsets the other voters,” and “creates an unsafe environment at the polling place.” Some people are so picky! I was done anyway, so it didn’t matter.
Now all that’s left is to sit back, thank God for the chance to vote, and wait for the election results, with both eyes shut and all my fingers crossed.
Happy election day, everyone and I sure hope that Lincoln fella wins! Four more years, Abe!